Construction on Moffet Avenue Continues; McNiel Drainage Project Plans Move Forward

- Saturday's rain was certainly a welcomed sight, but if you drove down McNiel Saturday you probably noticed thunderstorms caused the streets to flood.

It's a problem residents have had to deal with for decades, but the problem should be solved come next year.

The McNiel drainage project should be under construction this June.

Before that work can begin, sewer lines on Moffet Avenue need to be raised to put box culverts under them, That will aid the new drainage system on McNiel.

That construction is underway and is a little over half way complete.

Project officials say if the weather cooperates they should be finished in May.

What was two projects, improvements to Southwest Parkway and new drainage installed on McNiel is now one project with TxDot and Wichita Falls working together.

To minimize the impact to residents who live around McNiel and Southwest Parkway, the McNiel Avenue drainage project will be worked on in conjunction with improvements to Southwest Parkway.

“They're gonna put their channel in a box culvert, they're gonna be building right turn lanes,” says Storm Water Engineer Jeff Hill.

When that intersection is complete, the contractor will start digging up sections of McNiel to add new drainage, starting on the downstream end and making their way up stream.

“We're gonna be putting 3 large box coverts down the center of the street which will occupy the entire width of the street, so there's really no way to contract it without closing the street,” says Hill.

Since parts of McNiel being closed will cause problems for residents, the city plans to make things as easy as possible by having an open line of communication.

“As soon as we can get a contractor on board we'll start scheduling neighborhood meetings so that the people with in those neighborhoods can meet the contractor, have good contact information so if there's a problem out there, they can contact the contractor directly,”says Hill.

The project should start taking bids to find that contractor soon.

And despite the disruption the project will cause, Hill says when it's finished it will be well worth the work.

We'll be taking many of those houses that used to flood, we'll be taking them out of the flood plain, hopefully they want be flooding during larger events.

The project is expected to cost about 6 million dollars but some of that cost will be reimbursed by TxDot for the Southwest Parkway part of the plan.

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